Civil War

The Schreiner University Department of History is honoring the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War with a series of short vignettes, focusing on events from 1861 through 1865.  The Civil War was the most destructive conflict in American history, but it was also one of our most defining moments as a people and as a nation.

This Week in the Civil War - #1104

Jun 2, 2015

  Union general Joshua Chamberlain, the Maine college professor whose gallantry at Gettysburg earned the Congressional Medal of Honor, resigned from the postwar military and was elected as Maine’s governor to four, one year terms.  In 1871, he was appointed president of Bowdoin College and remained there until 1883, when he was forced to resign because of ill health.  He later practiced law in New York City and engaged in numerous business activities.  In 1898, he volunteered as an officer in the Spanish-American War but was rejected due to his advanced age.  In 1905, he became a founding m

This Week in the Civil War - #1103

Jun 1, 2015

  After the war, Union General George McClellan took his family to Europe until 1868.  Returning home, McClellan became the chief engineer of the New York City Department of Docks and in 1882 became the president of the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad.  After another extended, European trip McClellan returned home to be nominated by the Democrats as governor of New Jersey.  He was elected, serving a single term marked by minimal political rancor.  By 1884, he strongly supported Grover Cleveland, desiring to become the next secretary of war, but rival, New Jersey politicians were able to

This Week in the Civil War - #1102

May 29, 2015

  In 1864, the United States government confiscated Arlington House, the home of Robert E. Lee, when property taxes were not paid in person by Mrs. Lee.  Purchased for "government use," Arlington soon became a cemetery as a vengeful Northern military decided to make the property uninhabitable to the Lee family once the war ended.  The Lees never returned to Arlington; after the general’s death in 1870, his son brought suit, claiming the government had illegally confiscated the property.  By a 5 to 4 decision in December 1882 the U.S.

This Week in the Civil War - #1101

May 28, 2015

  On Saturday, June 17, 1865 the fiery secessionist Edmund Ruffin, the man rumored to have fired the first shot against Fort Sumter at the start of the Civil War and the first person to enter that fortification after its fall to Southern forces, penned his last diary entry, writing “And now with my latest writing and utterance, and with what will [be] near to my latest breath, I here repeat, & would willingly proclaim, my unmitigated hatred to Yankee rule—to all political, social and business connections with Yankees, & to the perfidious, malignant, & vile Yankee race.” Ruffin t

This Week in the Civil War - #1100

May 27, 2015

  By presidential proclamation on Wednesday, October 11, 1865 Andrew Johnson paroled Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens, cabinet members John Reagan and George Trenholm, Mississippi Governor Charles Clark, and the Assistant Secretary of War John Campbell.  All had been held in prison since the collapse of the Confederacy.  This act by Johnson left only Jefferson Davis in Union custody.  Davis was released on bail after two years; he became the president of a life insurance company and later turned down an offer to become the first president of Texas Agricultural and Mechanical Co

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